When Matt and I first moved to Spartanburg, we knew that we were entering into a season when we would prepare to add to our family. Since we knew that, we decided to drop the insurance we had through my full time job and get a private plan, in hopes that when we had our first child, I would move to a PRN (as needed) position and we wouldn't have benefits then.
When we got a private plan, we didn't realize that it didn't have a maternity benefit. We didn't realize that, however, until we had the policy almost a year and were closer and closer to trying for a baby. At that point, it was too late for me to get a policy through work and we knew we would have to make something else work.
There was the option of a private maternity plan but so often with those plans, the benefit doesn't out-weigh the cost of the premium. For instance, I read several coverage plans for maternity in which the only things covered were the doctor's visits themselves and the delivery. No labs were covered. No ultrasounds were covered. And those things can be expensive. When we realized that, we decided to pursue another option.
I had read a blog a while back where a woman had this same issue and she and her husband decided to pay cash through the hospital and the OBGYN's office. It seemed daunting but I decided to look into it.
We called the doctor and discovered that if you go the "self-pay" route, you are given a 50% discount off the top for all services. They also informed us that I would be given a payment plan for months 3, 4, 5, and 6 which would cover the cost of ALL doctor's appointments, the delivery and my follow up. If additional tests or procedures are provided those will be given a 50% discount as well.
When we found that out and received the total, we were ecstatic.
We then called the hospital who told us that they also provide a 50% discount for your entire bill if you pay within 30 days after delivery discharge. They require a deposit and if you figure up what expected costs should be minus the 50%, it comes to the amount of the deposit. So basically, we could leave the hospital after delivery (barring anything unexpected) and have our bill paid in full!
We saved the entire deposit amount prior to even beginning to try to conceive and since then have paid all but the 6 month payment to the OB. I cannot tell you how good it feels to know that we didn't waste money on a possible meaningless maternity insurance and will just pay cash.
Now, yes, we realize we are still paying money but we know that the money we are paying goes directly to the doctor and the hospital for services rendered and that's what feels nice about it!
We also took out a hospital indemnity policy which is not insurance but basically they pay you if you are in the hospital, so we will receive some money back after the delivery through that policy and that's exciting!
There are some issues we have run into such as lab payments because those are done separately but that was a lesson learned!
Overall, we are, so far, pleased with our decision and are grateful God has blessed us financially to be able to do it. When the baby is born and I stop working full time, we will all switch over the Matt's insurance which does have a good maternity benefit for the future.
I would love to talk to anyone who is interested in this topic more. If you are, let me know. If not, I just wanted to put this information out there and I want to remember the blessing of all of this for the future. :)